The Big Yellow Merville hall will be hopping Thursday, July 3, as three (count ‘em, three) major acts hit the stage for a hall fundraising concert. The Lonely Heartstring Bluegrass Band from Boston; super fiddler Pierre Schryer from Ontario; and the Valley’s own Trent Freeman, will play their music to herald in the “Stolen Church and Manse” project.
The Lonely Heartstring Band combines instrumental virtuosity and three-part harmonies with original songwriting and a deep understanding of traditional bluegrass and Appalachian music. Hailing from Boston, Mass., the band has become a staple in the New England bluegrass scene and are quickly building momentum in the rest of the country and in Canada.
They will even play Beatles repertoire on traditional bluegrass instruments. ( www.lonelyheartstringband.com)
Pierre Schryer is one of Canada’s leading traditional fiddlers and has established himself as a gem on the music scene among fans and fellow musicians. He has received numerous titles and awards including Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion and North American Irish Fiddle Champion. He will enthral the audience with his beautiful and lyrical tone. (www.pierreschryer.com)
Trent Freeman has played fiddle in the Comox Valley for years as well as touring with bluegrass king John Reischman, Calvin Vollrath, and with his group The Fretless. He is in the Comox Valley several times this summer and we are fortunate enough to have him joining the stellar lineup on July 3. (www.trentfreeman.com)
You might have noticed the two buildings that have been moved to the hall grounds? Well, they are now sitting on new concrete foundations so Phase One of the “Stolen Church” project is nearing completion. It has been a real labour of love to get these buildings to where they are but it has been a costly endeavour. So, the hall is cranking up the fundraising efforts as there are thousands of dollars in bills to pay. We are looking for patriotic Mervillians (and wannabe Mervillians) who will step up to the plate, buy a Merville Community Association membership and help out with a donation.
There will be further changes to the hall grounds over the next few months that will help to turn the site into a cultural/heritage mecca for the Merville township. The Merville Historical Committee has been formed to guide this development and new members are welcome.
So saddle up Old Paint and come on out to this festival of fun on Thursday. There will be many door prizes, auction items, a dance area at the back of the hall and refreshments. You can view the church and manse and imagine what the site will look like when everything is completed. This is your opportunity to climb on board this Merville train while it is still in the station.
Tickets for the Thursday, July 3 show at the Big Yellow Merville Hall are available at Long & McQuade, Courtenay and at Blue Heron Books, Comox. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert starts at 7:30. Cost is $15.